And guess who was the one to find this out? My mother, the author of the book, who was sent a copy in Germany many many years ago. I can remember her panic when she opened the back of the book and couldn't believe her eyes! This was way way back before email etc... and we didn't even have a phone. (Yep thats right our family never had a car and did not even get a home phone till I finished high school). I remember my mother pondering her next move--which turned out to be a trip to the local post-office where she sent a telegram to her literary agent Virginia Kidd that ended with the memorable words: "Please raise hell!" -- which is I think more or less what happened. The whole edition was ditched and eventually a new edition with the much prettier cover and the complete text appeared. So that was that.
It is a bit funny that the faulty edition still turns up in stores and on eBay--I always wonder what people must think about the ending--in the incorrect edition the book ends with a sentence that is a question --and thats it--it is obviously unfinished.
Eventually it would be nice to own a copy of every edition of all 11 of my mother's books. And at some point I'd like to set up a website that consolidates all the info on her that is available out there on the web, plus the info I have together in one place.